Aug 30 2015

NYULMC Entrepreneurial Community Comes Together to Learn about Upcoming Makerthon

by Matt Murphy

A computer programmer from Washington Square, a biologist from the Medical Center, and a clinician from Bellevue Hospital walk into a bar.

Okay, I made up the part about the bar. But these individuals and many more were part of a diverse group of NYU community members that joined together at the NYU Langone Medical Center earlier this month to learn about the upcoming Healthcare Innovation Pitch and Makerthon.

The Makerthon is the first of its kind at NYU, and is aimed at both identifying some of the key problems in today's healthcare system, and developing their solutions. The first portion of this goal will be realized on September 24 , when members of the NYU community will share their problems and ideas to a panel of healthcare and entrepreneurship experts. The high scoring problems based on need and impact will get move forward onto Phase II (solution building) over a 2.5 day weekend (November 13-15) with help from team members from all backgrounds in the NYU community and guidance from industry experts.


photo by Matt Murphy

The Healthcare Innovation Makerthon is being organized by the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute and members of the NYU Langone Medical Center, with help from a wide range of groups interested in promoting entrepreneurship in the NYU community. Two of these groups, the NYU Biotech Association (NYUBA) and Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship @ NYULMC (TIE@NYULMC), hosted the information session as an opportunity to facilitate networking between the members and teach attendees how Makerthons work and the experiential learning that one can gain by participating.

During the panel event, graduate students and professionals who have previously participated in and helped organize hackathons/makerthons (the two terms are often used interchangeably and refer to the same type of event) shared their personal experiences. A common theme emerged across all of the panelists when discussing the most valuable aspect of the hackathon. The unique aspect of these events is that it brings together individuals from a broad range of backgrounds -- programmers, designers, biologists, clinicians, and many more -- and puts them through an energizing, fun-filled process that foster collaboration and outside-the-box thinking.

This "cross-pollination" of ideas can lead to innovative breakthroughs that are less likely to occur when individuals are siloed among like-minded peers, which is all too common on a campus that spans dozens of neighborhoods across multiple boroughs.

NYUBA is very excited about this brand-new NYU initiative available for those interested in technology commercialization. The Makerthon will offer members of the NYU community, including YOU, a unique opportunity to work together to solve some of the biggest problems facing our healthcare system today. Individuals are encouraged to submit their ideas by Wednesday, September 9th. If you don't have an idea of your own, fear not! Anyone can join a Makerthon team to help develop a solution to whichever problem they find most interesting.

For more information, visit the NYU Healthcare Innovation Makerthon webpage.